Last night, a friend alerted me to a filmed concert on the Isle of Wight in 1970 where Joni Mitchell performed. She said it was on YouTube. It was one of those post-Woodstock ridiculous assemblies of thousands of people who seem to be walking around, talking, getting high, eating, and every once in a while, listening to the music. Onto the stage walks Joni Mitchell and sadly tries to sing her quiet little song “A Song About the Midway” from her second album, Clouds, to this sea of people in an advanced state of distraction, and suddenly my weeks of working on this piece about her seems overblown and out of proportion. Maybe I am not, in all of this, writing about Joni Mitchell? Maybe I am writing about me and my reactions to things as I change and they change; the times, and me. I don’t think I would have gone so crazy for her now…but this was then, and I did, and it seems worth recounting.
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